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Socceroos trim squad for crucial Adelaide clash

Soccer

Twenty-year-old winger Ajdin Hrustic is among three uncapped players included in the Socceroos' 23-man squad for their massive month of June, kicking off with a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia at Adelaide Oval next week.

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The Socceroos will assemble in Adelaide from Friday ahead of the clash next Thursday, which they must win to keep their hopes of automatic World Cup qualification alive.

Hrustic had been the subject of a tug-of-war with his father’s native country Bosnia and Herzegovina also chasing the emerging talent.

Hrustic left Australia as a young teen, moving to Europe and Austria Vienna in 2012 before joining German Bundesliga side Schalke, then Dutch club Groningen, where he currently plays.

Hrustic joins Adelaide United defender Dylan McGowan and Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic as uncapped players in the Socceroos squad announced today.

After the World Cup qualifier comes a friendly against Brazil, followed by the Confederations Cup in Russia.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said it was a huge month for the national team.

“The next four weeks will be crucial in our quest to not only qualify for the 2018 World Cup but to make an impact when we get there,” he said in a statement.

Postecoglou said trimming the initial 30-man squad by seven players was a tough task.

“But that is a good sign of the strength of the squad we have been able to name and the depth we have been able to cultivate over the last three years,” he said.

“If you look through the squad we now have a core group of players who have played 30, 40 and more caps and have experienced World Cup, Asian Cup and the tough road of World Cup qualifying.

“There are some players who are unlucky to miss out but if you look at the 23 players we have selected everyone has earned their Socceroos call-up, whether they are one of the experienced players with World Cup and Asian Cup experience or the three uncapped players.”

Squad: Aziz Behich, Tim Cahill, Milos Degenek, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Jamie McLaren, Dylan McGowan, Ryan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, James Troisi, Daniel Vukovic, Bailey Wright.

-AAP

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